Pleasanton Weekly

Cover Story - November 19, 2010

2010 Holiday Fund

Give now to help others in our community

by Jeb Bing

Five nonprofits have been selected as this year's recipients of the eighth annual Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund, the community-wide campaign that starts today to provide needed funding for vital local nonprofits.

This year, the Tri-Valley Community Foundation has agreed again to provide matching funds to the campaign so that for every $1 contributed, another $1 will be given to these five nonprofits. With the match, this year's goal is $100,000 with the funds to be allocated equally to each of the five organizations: Axis Community Health, Hope Hospice, Open Heart Kitchen, Valley Humane Society and the Ryan Comer Cancer Resource Center at ValleyCare Health Systems.

"Even though we're still in the midst of a difficult economy, our expectations brightened when we found that contributors from past years have already donated nearly $17,000 to help us launch our campaign early," said Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly.

Unlike most other fundraising drives by individual organizations, the Holiday Fund has no administrative expenses or other overhead. The Pleasanton Weekly donates all the support services so all money raised can support local nonprofit groups.

All funds are held in trust by the Tri-Valley Community Foundation and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

David Rice, president of the Tri-Valley Community Foundation, said giving to the Pleasanton Weekly Holiday Fund this year is more important than ever.

"Although Pleasanton is ranked as one of the wealthiest cities of its size in the nation, there are thousands who rely on many of these organizations for individual and family assistance, emergency aid when they're suddenly without jobs and health care," Rice said. "Not everyone is wealthy here, not everyone has a job, not everyone has health insurance. These are the people who need our help."

"Whether we're employers or among the employed or in business for ourselves, each of us has been affected by fast-rising costs -- in health care, for gasoline, for basic food and milk," Rice said. "Those on the bottom rung of the employment ladder may have a job, but they don't earn enough to meet these ongoing higher living costs. They often have inadequate or no health insurance at all. Some have lost their jobs or their benefits, or both, because of corporate downsizing, layoffs and benefit reductions. Just this month, more than 1,000 have been laid off by employers."

"We know what the needs are locally through the Tri-Valley Community Foundation's programs to help serve their financial needs," he explained.

"We can put money to work very quickly whereas it might take quite a long time for these organizations to partner up with donors themselves. So this is a much more effective and direct way to get money to work in the community by giving to the Holiday Fund."


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